Rescheduled game will be 5th Test, not one-off: Ganguly

  • BCCI president wants a rescheduled Test in place of the cancelled Old Trafford tie to be part of the just-ended series.
Rescheduled game will be 5th Test, not one-off: Ganguly(Getty Images)
Rescheduled game will be 5th Test, not one-off: Ganguly(Getty Images)
Published on Sep 13, 2021 11:29 PM IST
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ByRasesh Mandani

The Manchester Test may have been called off by the Board of Control for cricket in India (BCCI) and the England Cricket Board (ECB) but the two boards continue to spar over the fate of the series and the status of the Test proposed for next year in lieu of the cancelled Old Trafford game.

The England board has written to world body ICC seeking adjudication to decide the status of series which India led 2-1 when the fifth and final Test in Manchester was called off.

BCCI president Sourav Ganguly though said on Monday that the series, stopped after four Tests, isn’t over yet. “The rescheduled Test match (yet to be finalised) next year should be considered the fifth Test of the series,” he said. “India has the chance to win a series in England for the first time after 2007. The series should be completed.”

Also Read | Virat Kohli opens up for first time after cancelled 5th Test

While ECB has welcomed BCCI’s proposal to play a Test during India’s scheduled white-ball tour of England next July, its CEO Tom Harrison has said that Test can only be treated as a “standalone” match.

ECB has sought adjudication by ICC’s dispute redressal body as a verdict that India forfeited the Test would mean awarding the final game to them and the series being drawn 2-2. It would also allow ECB to recover its losses due to the cancellation of the Test from insurance. ECB reportedly faces a loss to the tune of 40 million pounds because the game was called off.

There is scope for BCCI and ECB to sort out the issue with further discussions before it goes before the ICC panel. The Indian board believes the cancelled Test must fall under the Covid cancellation guidelines of the World Test Championship. “The players were devastated when they came to know that he (physio Yogesh Parmar) had tested positive for Covid-19. They feared they must have contracted the disease and were dead scared. It's not easy staying in a bubble. Of course, you have to respect their feelings,” Ganguly said an interview to The Telegraph daily.

ECB’s view differs. “It wasn’t the outbreak of Covid, it was the perception of what might happen post their (India’s) physio testing positive,” Harrison told Sky Sports last week.

The Indian board is also willing to play extra T20Is in England to help them recover the losses. “Playing extra limited-overs matches is not an issue. But the final Test should be the decider,” Ganguly said on Monday.

India are keen to claim their first series win in England for 14 years to go with their second successive triumph in Australia. Virat Kohli’s side had the momentum heading to Old Trafford after a brilliant victory at the Oval.

Indian players pushed for cancelling the final Test worried more could test positive for Covid due to close contact with physio Parmar. Some former England players have been critical, saying the Test cancellation was done due to IPL, which resumes in the UAE on Sunday.

Kohli suggested on Monday it was not the case, having landed in the UAE with the rest of his India teammates who feature in the T20 league.

“Unfortunate that we had to end up here early, but with Covid in place, things are very uncertain,” the Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper told its digital media platform. “Anything can happen at any time. Hopefully, we’re able to maintain a good, strong and secure environment, and have a quality IPL.”

RCB will play their first match on September 20 against Kolkata Knight Riders in Abu Dhabi. “It's going to be an exciting phase and a very important one for us and then for the Indian team at the T20 World Cup,” Kohli said.


    Rasesh Mandani loves a straight drive. He has been covering cricket, the governance and business side of sport for close to two decades. He writes and video blogs for HT.

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